FMA-India Mission Ad/Inter Gentes Meet, Shillong

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36 Mission Co-ordinators and the budding missionaries of the 6 FMA Indian Provinces gathered at Auxilium, Nongthymmai, Shillong for the Mission Ad/Inter Gentes Meet from December 5-8, 2013. The theme aptly chosen is “Home- A Challenging place for Evangelization” organized by Sr. Agatha Shadap, INS, the National Co-ordinator for the Missions.

The day began with the Morning Prayer led by the Province of Bangalore on the missionary zeal of Bon Bosco, the “Da Mihi Animas caetera tolle”.  His Grace, Most Rev. Dominic Jala SDB, D.D, Archbishop of Shillong, presided over the Inaugural Mass at 7.00am. In his homily, he highlighted on the challenges and problems faced by the families today all over the world. After mass, the assembly accorded him with a melodious welcome song followed by a group photo with him.

At 8.45am was the solemn Inaugural function which was creatively animated by the young sisters of the host community. Sr. Marvella Shangpliang, Provincial Vicar voiced out a note of welcome in the name of Sr. Isabella Suja, the Provincial and the sisters of the Province. The beautiful rendition of the song entitled “We are called to be signs of Jesus’ love, channels of his grace” followed. The participants were presented a Khasi shawl to combat the cold of Shillong.  The representatives of the provinces lit the lamp invoking the presence of the Lord and his Spirit. Prayer dance is one of the best ways of worship. The novices of Bellefonte enthralled everyone with their unique choreographic steps in praise of God.

Messages of Sr. Lucy Rose Ozhukayil, General Visiting Councillor and Sr. Crescentia D’Almeida, President of FMA PCI were read by Sr. Aquila Phawa INC and Sr. Teresa INB respectively. The assembly then sang together the theme song of GC XXIII “Make your Home in me as I make mine in you”. At the end of the inaugural function, Sr. Agatha Shadap, the National Co-ordinator briefed to the participants the general information of the programme.

 

 

 

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Pope’s Message for the start of Advent 2013

advent-wreath(Vatican City, Dec 1, 2013)  The Pope’s Sunday Angelus message for the start of 2Advent focused on the importance of hope during the liturgical season dedicated to preparing for Christmas.

“For the great human family it is necessary to renew always the common horizon toward which we are journeying. The horizon of hope! This is the horizon that makes a good journey,” Pope Francis said on Dec. 1 to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square.

“The time of Advent that we begin again today returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!” the Pope emphasized.

The time of Advent that the Church celebrates in preparation for Christmas, explained the Pontiff, is “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus Christ, our Shepherd, who guides us in history towards the completion of the Kingdom of God.”

“Let us rediscover the beauty of being together along the way: the Church, with her vocation and mission, and the whole of humanity, the people, the civilizations, the cultures, all together on the paths of time.”

“But on the way to where?” queried Pope Francis.

In the Old Testament, the People of God journeyed toward Jerusalem where the temple of the Lord was, “because from there, from Jerusalem, came the revelation of the face of God and His law.”

At the fullness of time, however, “revelation found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and the ‘temple of the Lord’ became God himself, the Word made flesh.”

It is the Lord himself who guides our journey, the “pilgrimage of all of the People of God; and by its light even the other peoples can walk towards the Kingdom of justice, towards the Kingdom of peace.”

“What a great day it will be, when the weapons will be dismantled in order to be transformed into instruments of work!” the Pope reflected, noting the scripture passage from the prophet Isaiah which referred to such peace.

“And this is possible! We bet on hope, on the hope of peace, and it will be possible!” he exclaimed.

“The journey is never finished,” advised Pope Francis. “Just as in each of our own lives, there is always a need to restart, to rise again, to recover a sense of the goal of one’s own existence.”

Mary serves as a “model of this spiritual attitude, to this way of being and of journeying in life.”

Although she was just a “simple girl,” she “carried in her heart the hope of God,” explained the Holy Father.

“In her womb, the hope of God took flesh, became man, and made history: Jesus Christ.”

Mary’s song of praise in the Magnificat “is the canticle of the People of God on the journey, and of all men and women who hope in God, in the power of his mercy.”

“Let us be guided by her, she who is mother, she is a ‘mama’ and knows how to lead us. Let us be guided by her in this time of waiting and active vigilance.”

Pope Francis then led the crowds in the traditional Angelus prayer and closed by greeting the various groups who had come to pray in the Square.

He took a moment to remember those who are affected by HIV and AIDS, since “today marks the World Day for the fight against HIV/ AIDS.”

“We express our closeness to the people who are affected, especially children, a closeness that is very concrete in the silent work of many missionaries and workers. We pray for everyone, also for physicians and researchers. That every sick person, without exception, may have access to the care they need

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